The family of cycling accident victim, John R. Yates, has settled out of court their lawsuit against a commercial truck owner and the driver of the vehicle that was involved in the bicycle-truck crash. According to news reports, the defendants in the case recently agreed to pay an undisclosed amount rather than take their chances in court. The reportedly $5 million wrongful death lawsuit alleged negligence on the part of the owner of the tank truck as well as the driver of the vehicle that allegedly ran over and killed Yates on a Baltimore street earlier this year.
As Maryland auto accident attorneys and personal injury lawyers, I and my staff understand the anger and sadness that accompanies the loss of a loved one killed in a senseless traffic collision. Bicycle and motorcycle riders in particular are most at risk on city streets and rural roads due to the size and weight disparity between their relatively small and lesser protected two-wheelers and other motor vehicles.
Any crash between a bike and a passenger car, 18-wheeler or commercial delivery truck can result in serious and sometimes fatal results. Head, neck and spinal injuries are always a potential risk in such collisions. In the case of Mr. Yates, the 67-year-old bicycle enthusiast died from the injuries he sustained when the truck allegedly turned into him on August 4 this year.
Based on police reports, the accident occurred on Maryland Avenue when the vehicle began to turn right onto Lafayette Ave. catching the man and his bicycle in the rear wheels of the larger vehicle.
News reports said that the out-of-court settlement satisfactory to all parties in what was certainly a heartbreaking traffic accident. Although the amount was not announced, the defendants’ lawyer said that it was appropriate given the facts and circumstances surrounding the late summer crash. Reportedly, the Yates family attorney said his clients were satisfied with the outcome as well.
The victim’s family reportedly was not interested in taking the suit to trial, especially since Yates’ death actually prompted significant legislation in Maryland’s General Assembly regarding bicycle rider rights and motor vehicle law as it pertains to the safety of cyclists on public roads. In fact, this past October saw the 3-foot rule go into effect, requiring motorists to maintain a buffer when passing a bicyclist.
Family of cyclist killed in crash settles with truck driver, employer; BaltimoreSun.com, December 1, 2010